B2B Process Automation Uncorks Workflow Efficiencies for Bottled Water Distributor
Electronic data interchange (EDI) isn’t most people’s idea of a sexy new technology, but innovations in this essential piece of supply chain plumbing can have big benefits for the companies that use it.
EDI is used to manage translation between data formats used by different companies so that their electronic systems can easily talk to each other. It’s been around for years, but now EDI is uncovering new value as the basis for collaboration and information retrieval.
Premium Waters, Inc., a national retailer and distributor of bottled water and coffee delivery systems, has used EDI for years to communicate with its network of distributors and wholesalers. Its IBM Sterling Gentran software was a solid performer, but it was beginning to show its age. The system required extensive manual intervention, and queries from the field could take hours or longer to process. Premium Waters saw the opportunity in upgrading its EDI system to not only reduce errors but also improve operating efficiency.
At IBM’s recommendation Premium Waters chose IBM Sterling B2B Integrator software as its new EDI solution. It also engaged IBM Business Partner ComResource, Inc. to oversee the installation using Flexible Foundation, a framework that provided best practices and rapid mapping of business processes to technology solutions.
Flexible Foundation enabled Premium Waters to extend the visibility and features of the Sterling B2B Integrator software, minimize duplication with its JD Edwards ERP system and improve workflow.
Partners can now access data more easily that before, which simplifies administrative processes and improves collaboration. Company sales and customer service reps can now quickly and efficiently retrieve order information to match it with payment and fulfillment data. Errors are down, productivity is up and Premium Waters has better visibility into its business.
In this Google Hangout interview, Michael Hesse, IT director at Premium Waters, talks about the hidden benefits that an EDI solution unlocked for his company.